Crowdfunding campaign launched to help reopen Taqueria El Rey after devastating fire

What’s happening: A fundraising campaign has been launched for Taqueria El Rey, the small but mighty family-owned restaurant in Southwest Detroit that suffered serious fire damage on Saturday, Jan. 29. The restaurant, much adored for its tacos, famous grilled chicken, and place in the community, has been forced to close until repairs are made.

Turning to the community: Acting on behalf of the Fuentes family, who opened Taqueria El Rey more than 20 years ago, Roxana Aguinaga has launched a fundraiser on the GoFundMe crowdfunding platform in hopes of helping the Fuentes family rebuild and reopen. With a set goal of $20,000, Aguinaga writes, “There was substantial damage to the building including the entire shack where the chickens are grilled as well as the inside of the building and the equipment. We ask our community and anyone that enjoyed this restaurant to please contribute in any way possible to help the Fuentes family rebuild and reopen as soon as possible so they can reopen their doors and continue serving some of our favorite food.”

Small but mighty: Were it not for the bright red facade, Taqueria El Rey is located in a blink-and-you-might-miss-it Vernor Highway storefront. An attached “shack” is where they grill their famous chicken and, according to news reports, where the devastating fire originally started.

Something to look forward to: In an article posted to Model D in 2013, Andy, Emily, and Rob Linn shared their thoughts on Taqueria El Rey, which has us looking forward to its reopening already. They wrote: “Although the supporting cast is outstanding, the belle of ball on this menu is the grilled chicken. Cooked right outside at the adjoining walk-up taco stand, the excellent dry rub, smoky flavor, and perfectly cooked, tender texture of these slabs of heaven will leave you ordering seconds. Not a bird nerd? Look no further than the outstanding tostadas de camaron, hamburguesa de camaron, burrito estilo california, or torta de lomo adobado.”

Click HERE for a link to the crowdfunding campaign.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.